The EChO Payload is an integrated spectrometer designed to cover the 0.55-16 μm (11 to 16 μm as a goal) wavelength
band, subdivided into 5 channels from visible to thermal IR with a common set of optics spectrally dividing the field of
view by means of dichroics and a unique electronics interface to the spacecraft, the Data Control Unit (DCU). DCU is
mainly a digital unit with processing capabilities based on a rad-hard space qualified processor running the main
Application SW (the scientific SW) and some programmable logics.
DCU will host the detector’s warm front-end electronics (FEEs) and its main tasks are to implement the payload
instruments commanding, the science and housekeeping (HK) data acquisition, conversion and packetisation, the
onboard spectra pre-processing, and, finally, to provide finely regulated voltage levels to FEEs. Detector’s proximity
cold electronics send analog data and HKs to DCU for digital conversion by sharing a redundant ADC aboard DCU.
Analog HKs are previously multiplexed, elaborated and converted to digital format before sending them to the satellite
platform, via the SpaceWire (SpW) links.
DCU controls the FEEs syncronization (interpreting and routing sync signals and time stamps sent by OBC by means of
SpW Time Codes) and runs the main logics to perform all the required tasks and memory management.
The EChO DCU electronics basically focuses on the data and command flows, the clock/synchronization and power
distribution network and on an overall architecture for a trade-off solution removing or reducing any electronics single-point